powerrankings

JMU celebrates a big play despite the loss to Villanova on Oct. 9, 2021.

This week, CAA football proved its motto true there’s no off week. 

Home or away, the only teams safe over the weekend were on bye weeks. CAA football is in full swing, and here’s how the teams shape up at the halfway point of the season.

1. Villanova (4-1, 2-0 CAA)

2. James Madison (4-1, 2-1 CAA)

3. Rhode Island (5-0, 3-0 CAA)

4. New Hampshire (3-2, 2-1 CAA)

5. Delaware (3-2, 2-1 CAA)

6. Elon (3-3, 2-1 CAA)

7. William & Mary (4-1, 2-0 CAA)

8. Richmond (2-3, 0-2 CAA)

9. Towson (2-3, 1-1 CAA)

10. Stony Brook (1-5, 0-3 CAA)

11. Maine (1-4, 0-3 CAA)

12. Albany (0-5, 0-3 CAA)

 

Notes regarding the rankings

Villanova jumps JMU because of the gritty win and its play on both sides of the ball. The Dukes haven’t been shut out in a half since their loss to Liberty 26-21 on Nov. 29, 2014 and JMU’s offense couldn’t get going, having 12 total yards in the third quarter and couldn’t make the adjustments against the Wildcats. Villanova has two field goal misses from redshirt senior kicker Ethan Ratke to thank for its upset win in Harrisonburg.

Even though Rhode Island is first in the CAA standings, the Rams haven’t played the hardest schedule. Its toughest matchup was against No. 9 Delaware this past weekend, but the Blue Hens were injured and not at their best, so the Rams took advantage. A 5-0 start can’t be ignored, but with worse FCS competition, a smaller win margin and lots of football to be played, the toughest part of Rhode Island’s season is coming.

New Hampshire checks in at No. 4 despite its the bye week because of the effort against JMU and the road ahead. Two losses in a row looks bad on paper, but a loss to an FBS opponent and another to the then-No. 3 team in the country looks better — New Hampshire also kept it close with the Dukes. The defense is where it needs to be, and if the offense becomes more consistent on third-down conversions and on the ground, the Wildcats may be a sleeper for the playoffs.

Elon and William & Mary clock in at No. 6 and No. 7 but are evenly matched. The Phoenix took home another win Saturday, defeating Maine 33-23 as redshirt senior quarterback Davis Cheek had another high-flying offensive day. The Tribe rallied to defeat Albany William & Mary scored four straight touchdowns at home to win. The game showed resilience by the Tribe but Elon comes in over William & Mary because of its schedule, even though William & Mary defeated Elon head to head.

Richmond drops to No. 8 because of its loss to Elon two weeks ago. Graduate quarterback Beau English didn’t look as collected against the Phoenix as he did against the Hokies. English will get the start against JMU this weekend and with a bye week, the offense has extra time to prepare for the Dukes. Richmond has weapons and the potential to move up — it just has to find offensive consistency.

Towson, Stony Brook, Maine and Albany round out the bottom. Towson won this weekend but the rest of the teams fell — including the Great Danes, who sit in last and are now 0-5 on the year.

Contact Savannah Reger at breezesports@gmail.com. For more sports coverage, follow the sports desk on Twitter @TheBreezeSports.